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In Hainsight: A Rare Win in Columbus

November 24, 2022, 5:19 PM ET [182 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

After 8 consecutive losses against the Blue Jackets, the Canadiens finally managed to tame the beast last night, although it was a diminished beast battling plenty of injuries. This game certainly won’t go down in history as an exciting one. Thankfully, finding themselves scoreless after 40 minutes, both teams started to press on and managed to break the deadlock.

It was Mathieu Olivier who opened the score for the home team, but it took less than a minute and a half for Arber Xhekaj to level the score and then less than a minute for David Savard to score the go-ahead goal. Sean Monahan then sealed the deal with an empty netter with less than 2 minutes to go.

While I understand St-Louis’ willingness to rotate his rookie defensemen, one could argue that it might not be the right way to go about things. To be fair, the Canadiens’ blue line was doing better before the veterans came back. Perhaps they are just struggling to find their form, but right now, it’s hard to justify sitting guys like Harris and Xhekaj when Edmundson and Matheson are committing more than their fair share of turnovers.

I like the fact that Xhekaj is not shy of putting the puck on net, he unleashes shots whenever possible and seems to have a knack to notice when the goaltender will have trouble to spot the puck through traffic, which is exactly how he scored last night. It was also nice to see David Savard supporting the attack last night and getting a goal for his trouble.

The star of the game though was Samuel Montembeault without contest. The Canadiens netminder kept his team in the game in the first two frames with brilliant saves, including two breakaway ones in less than 20 seconds. I don’t know who St-Louis plans to put in net on Friday afternoon, but I would argue that Montembeault deserves the net after that display and Allen’s shakiness the night before.

The Habs will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as they’ll take on the Hawks in Chicago at 2:00 PM. Yes, during the working day, it’s Thanksgiving today in the USA and the Americans have a day off tomorrow, so do I now, how can one resist a Friday off to watch hockey and the World Cup?
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